Paul Nicholas became a household favourite in his role as Vince in the BAFTA award-winning BBC television series Just Good Friends for which he was nominated as Best Comedy Actor. He received a further nomination for Best Actor in LWT’s major drama series Bust.
His theatrical success began in 1969 in the original London production of HAIR. Following his lead roles in Jesus Christ Superstar and Grease, he was invited to play at the Young Vic in several productions including Much Ado About Nothing, Crete and Sargeant Pepper. A season with the Prospect Theatre Company in their production Pilgrim was followed by two plays at the Royal Court — The Innocent Bystanders and Richard O’Brien’s T-Zee.
In 1979 Paul went to live in the USA for a year, returning to London to create the role of Rum Tum Tugger in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. He subsequently played the title role in Sir Tim Rice’s musical BLONDEL and followed this with Charlie Girl at the Victoria Palace Theatre. He then appeared as the Pirate King in the highly successful production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Manchester Opera House. This was followed by a successful season at the London Palladium. Paul starred as Buttons in the Wimbledon Theatre production of Cinderella over Christmas 1984 and as Prince Charming in the record-breaking 1985-6 season of the same pantomime at the London Palladium. Paul completed the first national tour of Barnum playing the title role – for which he trained in all circus skills, including tightrope walking and juggling and in June 1996, Paul appeared as King Arthur in the Covent Garden Festival’s production of Camelot.
Paul then went on to complete a national tour of Michael Cooney’s The Dark Side with Jenny Seagrove. This was followed by a tour of The Mysterious Mr Love – a two-hander written by Karoline Leach -opposite Susan Penhaligon. After its successful run, Mr Love transferred to the West End’s Comedy Theatre.
In 1999 Paul appeared in A Tale of Two Cities at Windsor and at The Alexandra in Birmingham. A major UK tour followed as The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance. More recently he returned to the role of John Smith in Ray Cooney’s Run For Your Wife 2, and played the title role in SFX’s National UK Tour of Doctor Dolittle.
Aside from Just Good Friends Paul’s television work includes: BBC1’s Saturday night flagship comedy drama Sunburn, Doctors (BBC), The Bill spin-off Burnside for Pearson Television, Season of the Witch; Early Struggles; Two Up Two Down (all BBC); Chips (MGMNBC); The Lady Killers (Granada); The Boys From Ipanema (ATV); A Little Rococo (Yorkshire Television); Doubting Thomas – a musical (TVS); and Close to Home (LWT).
His major film credits include Tommy, Stardust, Lisztomania, Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The World is Full of Married Men, Yesterday’s Hero, Alice, The Jazz Singer, Blind Terror with Mia Farrow, The Nutcracker with Joan Collins and Invitation to the Wedding with Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson.
In 1992 Paul formed a production company with fellow actor, David Ian. Their 20th anniversary concert tour of Jesus Christ Superstar with Paul in the title role, was a complete sell-out. They followed this success with The Greatest Shows in Town (Bournemouth International Centre) where the show broke box office records. They then presented their own critically acclaimed version of The Rocky Horror Show for which Paul made his directorial debut. Following this they produced a very successful tour of Singing in the Rain in which Paul was directed in the lead role by Tommy Steele. Paul and David then produced a UK tour of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice’s Evita having joined forces with the legendary impresario Robert Stigwood.
Paul Nicholas and David Ian Associates, again with Robert Stigwood, are currently co-producing the long-running hit musical Grease and they also co-produced Saturday Night Fever which opened at the London Palladium to great acclaim from the critics in May 1998.
A venture into pop singing in 1976 resulted in four top 10 hits, including the two million best sellers ‘Heaven on the Seventh Floor’ in America. Paul continues to record and has received a further four gold albums.
At the end of 1991, Paul was the subject of This is Your Life and for his services to show business and charity, Paul was awarded a Silver Heart from the variety Club of Great Britain.
Paul has recently completed playing the role of Sam Spencer in the UK Tour of Snakes and Ladders for TEG Productions.